If you’ve been following the VoIP wars at all, you know that the latest craze is for ISPs and other providers to block the VoIP data of their competitors. They may do this because they themselves are offering VoIP services, or plan to, or because they own or have a controlling interest in local telephone companies. Or hey, just because they can. The point is, they are blocking the VoIP data their competitors – VoIP data which their own customers presumably may want.
But according to Robert X. Cringely, he of Accidental Empires and Electronic Money, the smart and sneaky providers who are or will be offering their own VoIP services will not block the VoIP data of their competitors – oh no – they will instead tag or otherwise recognize their own VoIP packages and give their own VoIP packets a priority, while their competitor’s VoIP packets? Not so much.
There seems to be some debate over how exactly this will be done – some, such as Cringely, believe it will be with the provider tagging their own packets with a Class of Service (COS) indicia, such that VoIP packets carrying the right CoS i.d. will get preferential treatment. Others think that the service providers will just take note of various other packet-borne indicia, but the bottom line is still that the provider will give their own VoIP packets preferential treatment, while the VoIP packets of their competitors get leftovers.
Is this right? Is it wrong? Is it anti-competitive? Is it free enterprise? Aunty can see lots of arguments on lots of sides. The only sure thing is that its real, and it’s happening. Or will be. Coming soon to a VoIP provider near you.
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